Using Stories in the Age of COVID-19

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A playbook published by Facebook details the most effective ways to use stories amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The 8-page document aims to provide clarity at a time when businesses are uncertain how to best reach and serve their customers.

Businesses have taken to using stories as a way to connect with people and add value to their day.

“For example, fitness studios have posted workout challenges to keep their customers active and engaged, and food delivery services have used Stories to encourage people to support local restaurants by ordering takeout and delivery.”

The real-time and authentic nature of stories make them an ideal way to communicate given how things are rapidly changing from one day to another.

Here’s an overview of what’s included in the Instagram stories playbook.

Make it Easy for People to Support Your Business

Get the most out of the Instagram stories format with unique features that make it easy for customers to support your business.

Those features allow businesses to promote offerings such as:

  • Delivery: Use the food order sticker so people can order food from your business directly in Instagram.
  • Gift Cards: The gift card sticker gives people an easy way to support your business.
  • Fundraisers: Let people know about your Facebook fundaiser by sharing it to Instagram Stories.

Instagram Playbook: Using Stories in the Age of COVID-19

After sharing these stories it’s a good idea to save them as highlights on your Instagram profile so they can still be seen after the initial 24 hours.

Be Timely and Considerate

Be mindful of how words and images can be interpreted at a time like this.

  • Use appropriate imagery: Make sure images and videos are in line with the current social landscape. For example, showing people touching or high-fiving can feel off out of place right now.
  • Show empathy: Highlight products that can help people adjust to changes they’ve been forced to make, like working from home.

Instagram Playbook: Using Stories in the Age of COVID-19

Stay in Touch With Customers

Use stories as a way to stay in touch with customers when you can’t see them in person.

  • Share important info: Communicate important information like updated hours or upcoming digital events.
  • Answer questions: If you feel overwhelmed with direct messages, share the answers to common questions in your stories for everyone to see.

Instagram Playbook: Using Stories in the Age of COVID-19

Uplift & Engage

People are in need of good news and a reason to smile.

Use Instagram stories to re-share positive content from your community coming together to inspire others.

Instagram Playbook: Using Stories in the Age of COVID-19

Share Health and Safety Info From Trusted Sources

Help keep people informed about important developments from verified

You can encourage your community to stay safe and healthy by using the new “Stay Home” sticker in Instagram stories.

Instagram Playbook: Using Stories in the Age of COVID-19

See: Instagram Launches ‘Stay Home’ Story & Co-Watching Feature Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Be Real and Relatable

Show your community how you’re all in this together by using Instagram stories to take them behind the scenes of your business.

Let them see how you’re adjusting to the changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re involved in any community support initiatives then encourage others to get involved as well.

Instagram Playbook: Using Stories in the Age of COVID-19

Additional Suggestions

If you’re feeling especially creative, you can go the extra mile by producing some participatory content such as:

  • Interactive stickers: Use the question sticker to solicit feedback from your audience, or use the countdown sticker to build anticipation for an event.
  • Start a challenge: Create challenges for people to re-share in their stories and @mention their friends.
  • Create a template: Create a fun quiz or questionnaire that your audience can fill in and share to their Stories.

See the full Instagram stories playbook here.



Should I still post Instagram stories during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, people are in need of content that informs and entertains. Just be mindful of sharing the right kind of content.

What kind of content should I post on Instagram during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Share any important announcements or changes related to your business. Show how you’re keeping customers safe. Promote community initiatives.

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